UK 'long way' from transgender equality

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Robert Steele and Vikki ThompsonGraven Robert Steele
Image caption Transgender woman Vikki Thompson was start dead in her cell after telling friends she would kill herself if she was sent to a spear prison

Transgender people in the UK face “high levels of transphobia” on a always basis and they have “a long way to go” to achieve equality in the UK, MPs say.

The Commons Chars and Equalities Committee urged ministers to draw up a new strategy to tackle acumen.

The NHS and prison service need urgent reform, its MPs said, and there should be varied training for police officers and teachers in handling trans issues.

Priest Nicky Morgan said further progress on equality was a priority.

The consul for women and equalities said she was determined to tackle discrimination wherever it happened.

The report is the first by a UK rliamentary committee to tackle transgender issues.

Intermediation captionMaria Miller and Kellie Maloney on ‘de-gendering’ ssports

It calculations that as many as 650,000 people in the UK are “gender incongruent to some station” and the transphobia they experience undermines their careers, incomes, surviving standards and mental and physical health.

About a third of transgender adults and half of “gender-variant” juvenile people attempt suicide, it says.

Among more than 30 recommendations, the announcement calls for:

  • A “root-and-branch review” of the NHS’s treatment of transgender people.
  • Urgent clarification on the placing of transgender prisoners, given the “clear risk of harm” if trans child are held in prisons according to their birth genders. It cites the tients of two transgender women who died in 2015 while serving time in spear jails.
  • Official recognition of gender should be based on “self-declaration”, moderately than a “medicalised” assessment.
  • Mandatory training for police officers on transphobic hostility crimes, and the extension of hate crime laws to cover gender uniqueness.
  • The lowering from 18 to 16 of the age limit for obtaining official acknowledgement of a new gender without rental consent.
  • The option to record gender as ‘X’ in a ssport, and an end to the desideratum to show a doctor’s letter to alter the gender shown.
  • More lining for school staff to better support “gender-variant” young people.
  • Handling for sports bodies to make clear that exclusion of transgender betters on grounds of safety or fair competition is rarely justified.

A guide to transgender calls

Transgender prisoners: system failure?

Do we need more than two genders?


‘We demand to prove our identity’

Tara Stone

“We have a gender-based nurse b like system which thologises trans people,” says Tara Stone, authority of Be: Trans Support and Development North, based in Newcastle.

“Currently, if a trans yourself goes to their GP for help, the procedure is to eliminate every other imaginable thing that could be wrong and what you’re left with is, ‘OK, we put ones trust in you.’ We need to move away from that and just start with, ‘Proper, we believe you.’

“We have to prove our identity – nobody else in society has to do that – and it quits people with a feeling of shame, like there’s something improper with them.

‘Distrust’

“Recently a girl I’ve worked with elapsed to her GP for a referral, but the response was, ‘I think you need to go away and think about it. Take place back in a fortnight’s time.’ She’s entitled to gender identity services, but she was revoked that.

“At the point of seeking help from a clinician, a lot of trans woman are very vulnerable and, even with the best of intentions, that genre of response risks having a massive im ct on their developmental thway as a person.

“The trans community in general has a lot of distrust of institutions, because they caress they have been institutionally abused – by the NHS, the police, the government. They then block engaging with those institutions, meaning they become to more isolated.”


The report singles out the NHS, in rticular, for criticism, warning of “critical problems… due to the attitude of some clinicians and other staff”, required by “lack of knowledge and understanding and even in some cases, out-and-out jaundiced eye”.

There is “overwhelming” evidence of “serious deficiencies in the quality and ca city of NHS gender unanimity services”, it says, and “completely unacceptable” waiting times for first offices and surgery.

Puberty blockers

Puberty-blocking drugs, which delay the event of adult sexual characteristics, and cross-sex hormone treatments should be produced more readily to young people, given the danger of self-harm and suicide if treatment is deducted, the MPs add.

However, the committee stops short of backing calls for official notice of changed gender for children aged under 16.

Tara Stone chores with All About Trans, a not-for-profit project that promotes trans voices in the media, encourages better understanding of trans people and improves usual coverage of the issues trans people may face.

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